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US gun control impasse defies litany of bloodshed

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By Adrian Lancashire
US gun control impasse defies litany of bloodshed

“More than 11,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2013 alone. Every country has violent, hateful or mentally unstable people. What’s different is not every country is awash with easily accessible guns…”

There are many people who face it and know it but then turn away because it's hard.

President Obama yet again implored US lawmakers to rein in on weapons.

It was scarcely more than two months ago, after the shooting deaths of nine black Churchgoers at the hands of a 21-year-old white supremacist in Charleston.

The anger stoked by that act was one of the motivations cited by the Roanoke killer for his action, inflaming further the debate over gun control in (as the American national anthem calls it) ‘the land of the free and home of the brave’.

Obama signed a directive on background checks for the selling and possession of guns after that. But the Republican-dominated Senate rejected the bipartisan plan. It fell six votes short of passing.

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton addressed this: “We have got to do something about gun violence in America, and I will take it on. There are many people who face it and know it but then turn away because it’s hard.”

Among the Republicans, rival contender Jeb Bush offered prayers for the dead but not a word in support of firearm discipline.

Before the Charleston massacre, he did not ruffle any feathers at a National Rifle Association meeting in Nashville:

“It is the liberal-progressive world view of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder and all the other people who want to take the guns out from the hands of the good guys and the hands of the law-abiding citizens. But the second amendment is one area where the Obama administration has run into a wall.”

It is true, during his two terms in office, Obama has not been able to introduce reform here.

According to the Pew Research Institute late last year, there were more Americans who supported the right to bear arms (52%) than there were (46%) who favoured control.